Jessica Hawkins became the first woman in five years to test a modern Formula 1 car after completing 26 laps with Aston Martin in an AMR21 race car at the Hungaroring, in Budapest last week.
As you would expect of anyone capable of piloting a Formula 1 car, Hawkins, 28, is no stranger behind the wheel. She was a British Karting Champion, a podium finisher in the W Series, and a stunt driver in major Hollywood films, such as No Time to Die. She joined the Aston Martin team in 2021 as a driver ambassador. Starting in 2022, Hawkins began to spend time in a driving simulator at the team headquarters in Silverstone. Her ultimate goal was to get seat time in a real, modern Formula 1 car, and last week that dream came true.
"It's taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here," Hawkins said in a press statement. "When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it... Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a Formula One car and, having looked at the data, I'm really proud of my performance. Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me and one I've been ready to fulfill for a long time. I'll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is."
This was a significant moment for Hawkins, but it is by no means the end of her journey. She will be part of the team’s entry into the all-female F1 Academy series in 2024. Starting in 2024, all ten Formula One teams will support the all-female racing series. Each team will have one female driver who will pilot a car sporting the livery of the respective Formula 1 team.
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